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What Kinda Bike Is That?
5,522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(Part One)

For the past four riding seasons, my riding pattern has been to ride about 3,000 miles per month. I achieve this by commuting to work every day on my bike, and by taking three day weekend trips, throughout New England, and the Eastern provinces of Canada. I have averaged about 21,000 miles ridden between "snow in" and "snow out" each riding season for the past four years. As of today, I have 86,029 miles on my 2007 DL-650 motorcycle.

The beginning of the 2011 riding season has started quite a bit different then the past four. Due to work I have had to do on my bike, and also on my minivan, and my youngest daughter getting set to graduate from college the weekend of May 21st, I have had to "adjust" my riding schedule. My best guess is, I am about 3,000 miles behind where I was last year at this time.

It's a different riding season for me because of family commitments I have. I am trying to find my way through it, and to carve out riding adventures in different ways. Instead of multiple day / overnight rides, for the near future, I can only see long day rides. 600 miles in one day, verses, 600 miles in two days; what's the difference? I save money by not spending it on a motel, or preferably, campground fees, and also on food that I don't really need.

Mother's Day was an experiment in this area of long day rides. I have ridden two 600+ mile days previously; one in 2008, and one in 2009. I am most content between the mileages of 450 to 550 miles in a day. It feels right to me; like I have done something, and I can go to bed feeling content in life.

Here is a screen shot of the general area in which I rode last Sunday. I traveled north to Fort Kent, Maine, entered New Brunswick, Canada, rode south along the Maine / New Brunswick border, entered back into Maine at the town of, Orient, then rode back to Mount Desert Island.

I left at 6:20AM and arrived back home at 8:00PM.

Total Elapsed Time: 13hr 40min
Total Ride Time: 11hr 25min
Average Speed: 54.1mph
Total Distance: 618 miles

If you have access to a Delorme Gazetteer of Maine, my departure point takes place on Map 16. At the northern end of Long Pond, I headed north along the Whitney Farm Road, then west on the Oak Hill Road, then north on the Indian Point Road, out to the junction of Rt 102 in Town Hill. I headed north on Rt 102 and picked up Rt 3 at the head of Mount Desert Island, to follow that into Ellsworth, Maine.

As I crossed the Trenton bridge, I attempted a quick shot with my camera, over my left shoulder, to show how low the clouds were; "misty" nearly down to the water.

I didn't pull my camera out much during the early part of the trip due to the moisture present in the air.

I passed through Ellsworth, and picked up Rt 1A, (Map 24). On the northwest side of town, I picked up Rt 180/Rt 179, then fully on to Rt 180 and up the western side of Graham Lake. This IS a fun road, particularly the northern section of it!!! Rt 180 intersects Rt 9, "The Airline Road" on Map 23.

I followed Rt 9 west until it intersected with Rt 178 northbound. Route 178 parallels the eastern shore of the famous Penobscot River. On Map 33, I picked up Rt 2 in the town of Milford, Maine and continued my journey north. The sun came out just north of the village of Costigan.

In the bottom right hand corner of Map 43, I entered into the town of Lincoln. Lincoln is home to a paper mill. So of course a nickname had to chiseled in stone, "Stinkin' Lincoln". It is actually a VERY nice town!

They have nice friendly Law Enforcement Officials......

...and a fairly quiet downtown area.

The sun kept ducking in and out behind the clouds. And, even though I was dressed very warmly, and had my handgrip heaters on, set to "Low", I still had a little "shiver" going on. I decided to head for the sun.

On Map 44, in the town of Mattawamkeag, I did just that. I headed west on Rt 157 towards Medway and Rt 11 north.

See the sun ahead of me?

Ah, yes! Warmth!

Back on Map 43, I picked up Rt 11 in the town of Medway, and continued my ride northward towards Grindstone and Stacyville.

On Map 51, about one mile south of the 90° turn of Rt 11, there is a great place to stop and take photos of beautiful Mt. Katahdin. Mt. Katahdin is the center of attention in Baxter State Park, and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, (More information Here:

Beginning in 2008, I believe I have this scene in my digital photo albums for each year until present.

I think it looks better when I do this with it though!

"Mountain out of a mole hill." "A hill of beans." How about a, "Pile of potatoes"? I am now moving into the more agricultural part of my state. Lobster is the most recognizable export of Maine's waters. Wild blueberries would probably be the first export of our land. However, potatoes might be first. Anyway, those are the top three exports from Maine. I guess wood products needs to fit in there too somewhere. Our top import would be tourists..........

Here are some random shots as I rode through the northern farming country of Maine. Aroostook County is referred to as, "The Other Maine", or "Going Up County", (juxtaposed to "Going Downeast"), or finally, "Up-ta County".

And, a shot over my shoulder from where I have been.

I am now off of Map 52, having passed through the towns of Patten, Hersey, Halls Corner and Knowles Corner. North of Knowles Corner, I had to flip my grip heaters to "Hi". It was getting colder!

On Map 58, I passed through the town of Masardis. It was nice to see the Fraser Paper Company yard filled with logs! This means work for people!

(Incidentally, just below the letter "M" in the town name of Masardis, you will see the road called, "The Blackwater Road". In 2009, my friend Scott Thurston and I rode that down to the Tie Camp Road, to the Duck Pond Road and out to Smyrna Mills. It is ALL dirt. Fun!)

On Map 64, as I got close to the town of Ashland, I spied a windsock off to the west. I stopped to take two photos. I wish I could have gotten closer!

In Ashland, I decided to fuel up. I knew that I had about 50 miles to ride to get to the town of Fort Kent and the border crossing. I had ridden 200 miles so far. I knew that there was fuel in the town of Eagle Lake, but I didn't want to pay the "rural prices" that would be charged there. I decided to fuel up in Ashland. As it was, I paid $4.16/gal.

A shot of the Aroostook River as I crossed over it.

Just before the village of Winterville, there is quite an incline to Rt 11 that needs to be climbed. Since this is the only way north, through the heart of Maine, tractor trailers also haul their cargo up and down these roads. On the uphill climb, you can see "ruts" that have been ground into the asphalt, as chain-wrapped drive wheels have struggled to find a purchase against the snow, and icy driving conditions of the winter months. These grooves don't show up in the photo below, but they are there!

I passed through, Winterville......

...yup, Winterville.

On Map 67, I rode through Eagle Lake, Plaisted, Wallagrass......

...and arrived in Fort Kent at 11:10am having ridden 249 miles so far. It had warmed back up some; 50°F.

Before crossing the border into New Brunswick, I always stop for a cup of tea and a muffin at the Irving Station there.

(And, I am STILL kicking myself for not topping up my fuel tank in Fort Kent. More on that later!)

(Part Two will be posted tomorrow evening.)

Premium Member
526 Posts
Looking forward to the full story and photos! :hurray:

What Kinda Bike Is That?
5,522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I posted the first part of my story. The second part I will do tomorrow evening.


What Kinda Bike Is That?
5,522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
(Part Two)

As I nibbled on my blueberry muffin, sipped on my Bigelow tea, and tried to get my netbook to do what I wanted it to do.......(not what IT wanted to do!), I thought about my options for the rest of my day. It was approaching 11:30am. It was sunny and had warmed up quite a bit. I had ridden 250 miles to get to Fort Kent; at the very least, I was committed to a 500 mile day, (by returning home the way I had arrived.).

However, it is very difficult for me to "backtrack" on roads that I have already ridden. An extreme example of this is, when I rode to Radisson, Québec. There is only one road up, and one road back; The James Bay Road. But, there is also the Route du Nord........ About 250 miles of dirt / gravel road that pokes itself through a very remote area of Québec. Riding that was better then having to retrace my tire tracks on The James Bay Road to head back home!

I had already made the decision not to return to Mount Desert Island by the way that I had ridden to Fort Kent. There is just too much more to experience! I was curious about Grand Falls, and I wanted to see what the spring floods had done to the St. John River, as it tried to force its way through the gorge. Often, it is a wild, spectacular "mixing machine" of white water, mist and froth. The town of Grand Falls, or Grand-Sault, New Brunswick, Canada, is where I decided to head to.

I finished up my muffin and tea, packed away the netbook and headed over the bridge that separates the United States from New Brunswick, Canada. The Saint John River flows beneath it.

I cleared Canadian customs very quickly.....

....and headed down the river, riding along its northern shore.

I try to avoid riding on the interstates when possible. My choices here were to ride Rt 144 along the river and through the many towns, or zip down Rt 2. I have ridden the former before. There are MANY small towns that have to be passed through. They have restricted speed zones....... I needed to make time. On this day, I elected to ride the interstate.

Which I was bored at doing.........

....very bored.

I got off at the Grand Falls exit......

...and made my way to the gorge in the center of town.

A few times, I have stayed at the Hilltop Motel, (Motel Hilltop Motel, Grand-Sault, Grand Falls, New Brunswick). Nice accommodations and good food. Be sure to ask for a room on the second floor facing the falls! I have also camped at the municipal campground, on the south side of the bridge, right along the gorge. VERY inexpensive and a "best kept secret"!

I only stayed in Grand Falls for about 20 minutes. Here is a short video of what I watched.
Grand Falls Video Clip

I have ridden out of Grand Falls MANY times! I know the roads fairly well. On the south side of town, I picked up Rt 130, then River Road. I Always keep the river off of my left shoulder and follow the river "down". I had to make one detour due to a spring washout, but I knew where I was, (I am not riding with a GPS on my dash. I am just using a paper map and my memory for this trip.).

Here are some random shots from my trip south. (There is a windsock on top of that building........)

I have a photo of this barn from every year back to 2008!

This is the Perth-Andover Bridge.

Now, I am going to divulge some secrets......

In the town of River de Chute, pick up Rt 560.

Rt 560 will take you along the backside of Mars Hill, or the eastern, and Canadian side of Mars Hill. There is a windmill farm on top of it, and a ski resort on the "Maine" side.

Follow Rt 560 down to Tracy Mills. You are looking for Rt 550 heading south from Tracy Mills. (I always use the Weston Rd and Jackson Flats to cut through the farm country around Tracy Mills.). I come out very near this bridge and the beginning of Rt 550. (Watch out for the dog on the other side of the bridge. He has tried to get me twice!).

I have taken several photos of this potato barn over the past four years.

In the town of Lindsay, pick up Rt 540, and keep heading south. You are riding the border between the U.S. and Canada.

I always call this church the, "Skinny Church".

And, the river crossing right after the "Skinny Church".

My plan was to continue riding down Rt 540 to Graham Corner, where the Eel River Church is located, (Last year, on my ride back from the Gaspé Peninsula, I changed into my rain gear inside their unlocked sanctuary. I left a $10 bill underneath their offering plate and a note of thanks.)

(Part Three Below)

What Kinda Bike Is That?
5,522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
(Part Three)

BUT, this is where my "mistake" comes into play from not topping up my fuel tank in Fort Kent earlier in the day. I know that the only fuel available south of the junction of Rt 540 and Rt 555 is located in Canterbury, at the junction of Rt 122 and Rt 630. Rt 630 is where I was headed; my favorite dirt road to ride. I knew that I had enough fuel to reach Canterbury, but I did not know if the gas station would be open on a Sunday afternoon.....on Mother's Day. I could get there, and I could get stuck once I got there, if the gas station wasn't open. I decided to make a detour into the town of Woodstock, New Brunswick to gas up.

I also purchased a sandwich, a bottle of juice, and a BIG chocolate chip cookie. It was now 3:15pm, and this is the first food I had eaten since 11:30am in Fort Kent. I had ridden 397 miles by this point.

Äfter fueling up, I got back on Rt 2 and then exited on to Rt 122 and headed for Canterbury and Rt 630. I also had a niggling thought in my mind. There has been quite a bit of rain this spring. It is still early, and there is a good chance that Rt 630 isn't open yet..........


These nice young folks assured me, "There is no way that you will be able to get through. This is the worst I have seen the road in several years."

Damn again........

I cut across to the gas station and package store just to see if it was open. It was. I filed that knowledge away in my head.

It was now 4:00pm and I knew in my mind that I was looking at "bail out" time. I had to fabricate a plan to get back home. I knew that the border crossing in Orient, Maine closed around 6:00pm in the evening. I knew that I had about a 40 minute ride to get to it. The confusing part to me was, I was keeping track of time in "Eastern Standard Time". I was riding in "Atlantic Time". What I was reading off of my dashboard clock was 4:00pm EST. I was reading that time while sitting in Atlantic Time; it was 5:00pm, and I had a 40 minute ride ahead of me to a border crossing that closed at 6:00pm. The question was, did they close at 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time, or 6:00pm Atlantic Time. I was too tired to guess.......and I didn't get a ticket.

I made it with 30 minutes to spare. I crossed back into Maine without a problem. I flung the camera over my shoulder as I left the customs area.

I got myself out on to Rt 1 south and "shoveled the coal to the burners". At times I hit 80mph as I rocketed south towards Calais.

Here is another shot of Mt. Katahdin from Rt 1. The morning clouds have lifted so that you can get an idea of the shape of the summit.

I passed through Danforth....

...and made my way down to Baring, Maine where I picked up Rt 191.....

....which took me through the town of, Meddybemps. I used to make my two girls laugh at that name; "Come on, say it three times fast; REAL fast!" They would start giggling and couldn't finish!

(BTW Greywolf, you can't really tell by this photograph, but my motorcycle is quite heeled over on that sandy shoulder. This was a perfect place to use my "footpeg mount" of my bike. There was no other way for me to get out of there.)

I zipped down Rt 191 into East Machias where I picked up Rt 1 again. Then I made my way into Machias.

Through Jonesboro.

Across the marsh at the junction of Rt 1 and Rt 1A in Harrington.

Across the Sullivan Bridge and the landmark stone at the western end.

And, into the setting sun towards Franklin.....(Man that was tough!)

Over the Mud Creek Road in Lamoine.

And, a lucky shot, over my shoulder of the setting sun as I rode across the Trenton Bridge, and on to Thompson Island, then on to Mount Desert Island.

I arrived home at 8:00pm.

Tomorrow, I head out again......


Premium Member
8,025 Posts
Jeeeze, Barry, the ride reports have GOT to be more work than the rides!

Next time, you're there, stop at the skinny church and try the door. I wanna know what kind of organ they have.

What Kinda Bike Is That?
5,522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jeeeze, Barry, the ride reports have GOT to be more work than the rides!

Next time, you're there, stop at the skinny church and try the door. I wanna know what kind of organ they have.
Tom, I don't have to go into the church to answer that question. I already know the answer to it. Here is the "organ" at that church....

(I have waited a loooong time to use that photo! And, no joke, that headstone rests just outside that very church!).


Premium Member
8,025 Posts
You wonder what someone with a name like that had to endure while growing up.

I have a surprising number of cemetery pictures in my iPhoto/Aperture libraries. Lots of cemeteries in New Brunswick put flowers on top of the headstones. I don't see that in New England.
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